Four Thoughts on the Eve of John Fox’s Final Game as Bears Head Coach

| December 30th, 2017

John Fox will lead the Bears one more time, tomorrow, in Minneapolis. These will be my final thoughts on the Fox tenure.

(1) People need to stop revisiting how and why Fox was hired. There was no conspiracy. Ownership did not inflict Fox upon Ryan Pace. It was a simple process.

  • When the Bears hired Pace, Ernie Accorsi and ownership believed it would be wise to pair the young GM with a veteran head coach. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
  • Accorsi had known John Fox for thirty years so the coach’s surprising availability was an ideal match.
  • Accorsi and ownership asked Pace to meet Fox.
  • Pace met him. For a long time.
  • Pace decided to hire him. If Pace had called ownership and said no, Fox would not have been hired. Did ownership clearly want him to make this decision? Yes. Did Pace feel pressured to make it? I’ve been told by someone who really knows that Pace didn’t need pressure. He liked Fox a lot.

Everybody. Was. On. Board.

(2) Fox took over the worst defense in the history of the Chicago Bears. That’s not hyperbole. That’s fact. And today that unit is ranked 8th in the NFL, even while suffering a series of debilitating injuries and playing half the season with no pass rushers. There are a lot of factors why but the John Fox is leaving the Bears in far better shape than he found them.

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Rich Campbell’s Ernie Accorsi Interview is Must Read

| January 24th, 2015


Been a long time since DBB has dedicated space to a single piece but Rich Campbell’s interview with Ernie Accorsi is one of the most insightful football pieces I’ve read in a long time. There is tremendous detail regarding the hiring processes, the relationship between Ted Phillips & George McCaskey, why this opportunity at this time was perfect for Ryan Pace and the difference between Chicago and other football markets.

Some of my favorite stuff was a look inside the Giants offices. An excerpt:

What did you admire about John from your experiences with him with the Giants?

“His office (as defensive coordinator) was right next to mine, so we interacted. In a lot of places, the GM and the coach are at two different ends of the building. We were right beside each other, and (Fox) happened to be in the office next to mine. We interacted every day. First of all, he’s just a great football coach. Second thing, he has a way with people. He’s not going to lock himself in the office and draw up plays and be aloof. Players love to play for him.

“When we lost him, Mr. Mara actually said these words, and they were printed. When we lost him and he became head coach of Carolina, Wellington Mara said, ‘I feel much the same as I did when (Vince) Lombardi went to Green Bay.’ He said that.

“I’ll just give you an anecdote about John. We’re going to play Minnesota in the NFC championship game (in 2001). They have Randy Moss, Cris Carter, Robert Smith, Daunte Culpepper, and they’re scoring a million points a game. Now, all week they already scored 50 touchdowns in my apartment while I was trying to sleep.

“Finally we get to Friday, and I bump into Fox, and Fox says, ‘You’ve been ducking me all week.’ I said, ‘I don’t want to talk to you. I’m afraid of what you’re going to tell me.’ He said, ‘We may just shut them out.’ And we did (41-0). I thought we had a chance to win because we could score, but I thought we were going to win 45-38. He said, ‘We may just shut them out,’ and we did. And John doesn’t say that kind of stuff … to be boastful or bravado or anything like that.”

To read the entire Tribune piece, and you absolutely must, CLICK HERE AND DO IT.

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Thoughts on George McCaskey Cleaning House Following Dismal 2014 Season

| December 30th, 2014


I didn’t have one concrete theme from Black Monday but instead several distinct thoughts. Here they are.

Thought #1 – Emotion Not a Bad Thing

Football is a game of strategy and emotion. The strategy has spawned an entire industry of newfangled NFL writers who believe the $50 they spend for All-22 access makes them the heir apparent to Vince Lombardi. (X & O writing is quickly supplanting Combine analysis and salary cap breakdowns as the most surefire way to put me to sleep.) Strategy is why coaches are paid millions, why they sleep on their couches as their families fall apart at home and why play sheets now look like Greek diner menus in Clifton, New Jersey.

Emotion is the far less dissected issue, the far simpler issue and, in my estimation, just as important.

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